Novice woodworker here. SWMBO wanted a new table. The requirements: thick
(or thick-looking) table top, with large turned legs and an apron -- farm-
table style. The top is 5/4 walnut with 2" wide 5/4 breadboard ends (to
give the thicker appearance).
My question is how far should the table top overhang the legs/apron? Most
tables I have seen overhang about 1-2 inches. I'm worried that this size
overhang will show shadowing between the apron and breadboard ends, and I
(actually, she) wants it to look "traditional"
Any tips or advice?
Also, the apron and legs will be painted so I'm using pine for those.
Should I attach the top to the apron using the "figure-8" style clips to
allow for the different wood movement between the pine and walnut?
Thanks in advance
Seach the internet for samples to get ideas. Measure as many similar tables
can get your hands on. Figure out what is "normal" and adjust to your liking
Pine is soft it will take dings much more easily. Pine is also not the
easiest thing to turn. It tends to tear out alot. That said, is you are
paintingyou can youse filler to fix tearout. Dings may not be an issue if
you are going for a more rustic look.
Yes. or Lee Valley sells clip that looks like: ____/
Or you can make your own from wood the look like:
The purpose of the clip is not because of diffent woods, it is required
because of the different grain orientation. This is a very important concept
to understand if you are about to build a table with breadboard ends. If you
are unclear please ask.
I have no experience or equipment for turning, so I purchased pre-made legs
Thanks for the advice on the clips. I have seen the examples of cutting a
kerf groove to use for attaching those clips, but I thought the figure-8
style would be easier.
I don't think I used the correct terminology. I guess I didn't do actual
"breadboard ends." After glue-up of the table top, I trimmed the edges with
2" wide bands (faces on vertical plane) to give the appearance of a thicker
top. The are mitered at the corners, attached with large finishing brads.
Just an FYI but you "may" have some trouble where your thicking edges
are running in a different grain direction than the top boards. Sounds
like its to late to take care fo that now but if they seperate you can
use a different attachment method. Just glue the board near the center
and use screws at the outer edges with elongated holes in the piece
Also, if your table top starts to warp at all along the top abve the
cross grain thickening boards it could be the tension from the boards
One way to mitigate or lessen the problems would be to make sure you
add whatever finish you use to all sides evenly. It will help a lot of
you use a film finish and much less with an oil only finish.
Sounds like a nice project. You should post pictures.
The good Dr. Hannappel has good advice for the legs, beech is my choice for
legs as well.
As for the design, Fine Woodworking's newest edition has a good article in
table design. That said, I would set the apron back 3" or so.
Thanks for all the advice so far.
The finish will be a stain followed by several coats of poly. Do I need to
finish the underside of the table top as well? If so, does it need the same
number of coats as the top?
This prevents one side of the top from changing due to environmental
influences at different rates than the other.
Finishing the bottom is easy, you don't have to get crazy about the
visual quality of it.
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